Connect with us

NEWATLAS

Assistive tech may let locked-in users communicate via “ear-clicks”

Published

on

Although there are systems that allow physically challenged users to communicate by twitching facial muscles, for some people even those muscle movements are impossible. A new setup offers a possible alternative, however, by going into the ear.

Known as “Earswitch,” the technology is being developed at Britain’s University of Bath, by a team led by Dr. Nick Gompertz. It’s designed first and foremost for users who are “locked-in,” meaning they’re paralyzed and unable to speak.

At the heart of the experimental system is a computer-connected silicone earpiece containing a tiny camera and light, which is temporarily inserted into the patient’s ear canal. The camera then monitors the middle ear’s tensor tympani muscle – it’s one of the smallest muscles in the body, and could thus conceivably still be tensed by people who have lost control over most other muscles.

Such people may include stroke victims, or those with late-stage Motor Neurone Disease.

A close-up view of the Earswitch earpiece
A close-up view of the Earswitch earpiece

University of Bath

The user views a virtual keyboard – displayed on a computer screen – on which the rows of keys are sequentially highlighted. When the row containing the desired letter is highlighted, the user selects it by tensing their tensor tympani muscle. The earpiece camera detects that movement, and triggers the computer to select that line of keys.

Next, the individual keys within that line are highlighted sequentially. Again, the user selects the desired key by tensing their ear muscle when that key is highlighted. In this way, they can gradually “type” out messages. In order to speed the process up, a predictive text system displays complete words that the user may be trying to type, which they can also select.

Gompertz and colleagues are now commercializing the Earswitch technology via a spinoff company, possibly even for use by non-paralyzed users who wish to perform everyday tasks hands-free. They are also conducting an online survey – open to members of the public both with and without neurological conditions – to determine what percentage of the population is able to voluntarily move their tensor tympani muscle.

Sources: University of Bath, Earswitch

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://newatlas.com/good-thinking/earswitch-paralyzed-communications/

NEWATLAS

World’s first wooden satellite to launch later this year

Published

on

A first-of-a-kind spacecraft is set to make history later this year, but will do so using materials you could find at your local hardware store. The world’s first wooden satellite will enter orbit as a box made largely of birch plywood, which will be packed with sensors from the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the potential of the material in space.

The Woodsat is a CubeSat measuring around 10 cm (4 in) along each side, but what’s unique about this box-shaped miniature satellite is that the surface panels will be made from plywood. In fact, the only non-wooden parts featured on the outside are the corner aluminum railings that will help with its deployment once in space, along with a metal selfie stick.

The Woodsat is the brainchild of Finnish science journalist Jari Makinen, who also heads up a company called Arctic Astronauts that sells replica CubeSats for educational use and space hobbyists.

“I’ve always enjoyed making model planes, involving a lot of wooden parts,” says Makinen. “Having worked in the space education field, this got me wondering; why don’t we fly any wooden materials in space? So I had the idea first of all to fly a wooden satellite up to the stratosphere, aboard a weather balloon. That happened in 2017, with a wooden version of KitSat. That having gone well, we decided to upgrade it and actually go into orbit.”

Makinen has since secured commercial backing for a mission to space, and lined up a launch partner in Rocket Lab, which will supply its Electron booster for lift-off. ESA, meanwhile is working on a sensor suite that, along with the onboard cameras, will track the satellite’s performance in space.

The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood
The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood

ESA

One camera will be mounted to the selfie stick to capture images of the wooden surfaces, while also onboard will be an LED light, a sensor to monitor the pressure levels in the Woodsat’s cavities and a contamination sensor called a quartz crystal microbalance. This will track tiny deposits that take shape on the satellite coming from either the onboard electronics or the surface of the wood, which itself had to be treated in preparation for the mission.

“The main difference is that ordinary plywood is too humid for space uses, so we place our wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to dry it out,” explains Woodsat’s chief engineer Samuli Nyman. “Then we also perform atomic layer deposition, adding a very thin aluminum oxide layer – typically used to encapsulate electronics. This should minimize any unwanted vapors from the wood, known as ‘outgassing’ in the space field, while also protecting against the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. We’ll also be testing other varnishes and lacquers on some sections of the wood.”

The mission planners expect the Woodsat to survive this atomic oxygen, which forms near the fringes of the atmosphere when oxygen molecules are broken down by the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. They do, however, expect the wood to be darkened by this ultraviolet radiation as it orbits the planet at an altitude of around 500 to 600 km (310 to 372 miles). All going to plan, Woodsat will launch before the end of the year.

“In the end, Woodsat is simply a beautiful object in terms of traditional Nordic design and simplicity, it should be very interesting to see it in orbit,” says Makinen. “Our hope is it helps inspire people to take increased interest in satellites and the space sector as something that already touches all our lives, and is only going to get bigger in future.”

Source: ESA

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://newatlas.com/space/world-first-wooden-satellite-woodsat/

Continue Reading

NEWATLAS

World’s first wooden satellite to launch later this year

Published

on

A first-of-a-kind spacecraft is set to make history later this year, but will do so using materials you could find at your local hardware store. The world’s first wooden satellite will enter orbit as a box made largely of birch plywood, which will be packed with sensors from the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the potential of the material in space.

The Woodsat is a CubeSat measuring around 10 cm (4 in) along each side, but what’s unique about this box-shaped miniature satellite is that the surface panels will be made from plywood. In fact, the only non-wooden parts featured on the outside are the corner aluminum railings that will help with its deployment once in space, along with a metal selfie stick.

The Woodsat is the brainchild of Finnish science journalist Jari Makinen, who also heads up a company called Arctic Astronauts that sells replica CubeSats for educational use and space hobbyists.

“I’ve always enjoyed making model planes, involving a lot of wooden parts,” says Makinen. “Having worked in the space education field, this got me wondering; why don’t we fly any wooden materials in space? So I had the idea first of all to fly a wooden satellite up to the stratosphere, aboard a weather balloon. That happened in 2017, with a wooden version of KitSat. That having gone well, we decided to upgrade it and actually go into orbit.”

Makinen has since secured commercial backing for a mission to space, and lined up a launch partner in Rocket Lab, which will supply its Electron booster for lift-off. ESA, meanwhile is working on a sensor suite that, along with the onboard cameras, will track the satellite’s performance in space.

The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood
The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood

ESA

One camera will be mounted to the selfie stick to capture images of the wooden surfaces, while also onboard will be an LED light, a sensor to monitor the pressure levels in the Woodsat’s cavities and a contamination sensor called a quartz crystal microbalance. This will track tiny deposits that take shape on the satellite coming from either the onboard electronics or the surface of the wood, which itself had to be treated in preparation for the mission.

“The main difference is that ordinary plywood is too humid for space uses, so we place our wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to dry it out,” explains Woodsat’s chief engineer Samuli Nyman. “Then we also perform atomic layer deposition, adding a very thin aluminum oxide layer – typically used to encapsulate electronics. This should minimize any unwanted vapors from the wood, known as ‘outgassing’ in the space field, while also protecting against the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. We’ll also be testing other varnishes and lacquers on some sections of the wood.”

The mission planners expect the Woodsat to survive this atomic oxygen, which forms near the fringes of the atmosphere when oxygen molecules are broken down by the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. They do, however, expect the wood to be darkened by this ultraviolet radiation as it orbits the planet at an altitude of around 500 to 600 km (310 to 372 miles). All going to plan, Woodsat will launch before the end of the year.

“In the end, Woodsat is simply a beautiful object in terms of traditional Nordic design and simplicity, it should be very interesting to see it in orbit,” says Makinen. “Our hope is it helps inspire people to take increased interest in satellites and the space sector as something that already touches all our lives, and is only going to get bigger in future.”

Source: ESA

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://newatlas.com/space/world-first-wooden-satellite-woodsat/

Continue Reading

NEWATLAS

World’s first wooden satellite to launch later this year

Published

on

A first-of-a-kind spacecraft is set to make history later this year, but will do so using materials you could find at your local hardware store. The world’s first wooden satellite will enter orbit as a box made largely of birch plywood, which will be packed with sensors from the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the potential of the material in space.

The Woodsat is a CubeSat measuring around 10 cm (4 in) along each side, but what’s unique about this box-shaped miniature satellite is that the surface panels will be made from plywood. In fact, the only non-wooden parts featured on the outside are the corner aluminum railings that will help with its deployment once in space, along with a metal selfie stick.

The Woodsat is the brainchild of Finnish science journalist Jari Makinen, who also heads up a company called Arctic Astronauts that sells replica CubeSats for educational use and space hobbyists.

“I’ve always enjoyed making model planes, involving a lot of wooden parts,” says Makinen. “Having worked in the space education field, this got me wondering; why don’t we fly any wooden materials in space? So I had the idea first of all to fly a wooden satellite up to the stratosphere, aboard a weather balloon. That happened in 2017, with a wooden version of KitSat. That having gone well, we decided to upgrade it and actually go into orbit.”

Makinen has since secured commercial backing for a mission to space, and lined up a launch partner in Rocket Lab, which will supply its Electron booster for lift-off. ESA, meanwhile is working on a sensor suite that, along with the onboard cameras, will track the satellite’s performance in space.

The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood
The Woodsat features surface panels of birch plywood

ESA

One camera will be mounted to the selfie stick to capture images of the wooden surfaces, while also onboard will be an LED light, a sensor to monitor the pressure levels in the Woodsat’s cavities and a contamination sensor called a quartz crystal microbalance. This will track tiny deposits that take shape on the satellite coming from either the onboard electronics or the surface of the wood, which itself had to be treated in preparation for the mission.

“The main difference is that ordinary plywood is too humid for space uses, so we place our wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to dry it out,” explains Woodsat’s chief engineer Samuli Nyman. “Then we also perform atomic layer deposition, adding a very thin aluminum oxide layer – typically used to encapsulate electronics. This should minimize any unwanted vapors from the wood, known as ‘outgassing’ in the space field, while also protecting against the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. We’ll also be testing other varnishes and lacquers on some sections of the wood.”

The mission planners expect the Woodsat to survive this atomic oxygen, which forms near the fringes of the atmosphere when oxygen molecules are broken down by the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. They do, however, expect the wood to be darkened by this ultraviolet radiation as it orbits the planet at an altitude of around 500 to 600 km (310 to 372 miles). All going to plan, Woodsat will launch before the end of the year.

“In the end, Woodsat is simply a beautiful object in terms of traditional Nordic design and simplicity, it should be very interesting to see it in orbit,” says Makinen. “Our hope is it helps inspire people to take increased interest in satellites and the space sector as something that already touches all our lives, and is only going to get bigger in future.”

Source: ESA

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://newatlas.com/space/world-first-wooden-satellite-woodsat/

Continue Reading

NEWATLAS

Liquid metal mirrors switch reflectivity on and off with a zap

Published

on

Engineers have found a way to make liquid metals switch between reflective surfaces or those that scatter light. The transition only requires a small zap of electricity and could be used to make mirrors that can be switched on or off.

Liquid metals conduct electricity and interact with heat and light in the same ways as their solid forms, but the added fluidity opens up a range of new devices that weren’t previously possible. In recent years the slippery shiny stuff has been used to make morphing electronics, stretchable wires, and better batteries.

And now, liquid metals might be able to add switchable reflectivity to their repertoire. Researchers from Kyushu University and North Carolina State University found that changing the voltage of electricity applied to liquid metal can make its surface change from reflective to scattering.

The electricity is oxidizing the metal, which causes its volume to change. That in turn produces a series of tiny “scratches” to appear on the surface, scattering the light randomly. To undo the changes and return the liquid metal to a reflective state, the magnitude of the voltage can be switched from negative to positive.

The switching can be done with a low voltage of just 1.4 V, on par with that used to power an LED. It can be done at room temperature and pressure too, all of which helps make it potentially useful for commercial applications, such as new electronic and optical components.

“In the immediate future this technology could be used to create tools for entertainment and artistic expression that have never been available before,” says Yuji Oki, lead researcher on the study. “With more development, it might be possible to expand this technology into something that works much like 3D printing for producing electronically controlled optics made of liquid metals. This could allow the optics used in light-based health testing devices to be easily and inexpensively fabricated in areas of the world that lack medical laboratory facilities.”

The research was published in the journal Optical Materials Express. The switching can be seen in action in the video below.

Dynamic Control of Reflective/Diffusive Optical Surfaces on Liquid Metal

Source: The Optical Society

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://newatlas.com/materials/liquid-metal-mirrors-reflectivity-switch/

Continue Reading
Esports5 days ago

Every new Passive Power in Legends of Runeterra Lab of Legends 2.9.0

Crowdfunding5 days ago

April/May 2021 Top Campaigns

Aviation2 days ago

Delta Air Lines Flight Diverts To Oklahoma Over Unruly Off-Duty Flight Attendant

Blockchain4 days ago

Crypto Fund Manager Says Bitcoin ETFs to be Approved By 2022

Esports3 days ago

Lost Ark Founders Pack: Everything You Need to Know

Fintech5 days ago

PayPal launches PayPal Rewards Card in Australia

Cyber Security3 days ago

Data Breach that Impacted Both Audi of America and Volkswagen of America

Energy3 days ago

Industrial robots market in the automotive industry | $ 3.97 billion growth expected during 2021-2025 | 17000+ Technavio Research Reports

Energy3 days ago

Daiki Axis Co., Ltd. (4245, First Section, Tokyo Stock Exchange) Overview of Operating Performance for the First Three Months Ended March 31, 2021

Aviation2 days ago

Spirit Airlines Just Made The Best Argument For Lifting LaGuardia’s Perimeter Rule

Cleantech3 days ago

Tesla Model S 420 Plaid Is The Best Car In The World (But Not For Me)

Fintech5 days ago

Stripe launches Stripe Tax to simplify global tax compliance for Australian businesses

Blockchain4 days ago

Blockchain technology can help to protect sensitive information

Blockchain5 days ago

JPMorgan Cautioned Coming Bear Market Signal in Bitcoin

AI5 days ago

Ransomware Incidents Surging; Cybersecurity Experts Scramble to Respond   

Blockchain3 days ago

Blockchain technology can help to protect sensitive information

Blockchain3 days ago

DCR Technical Analysis: Look for Support Levels of $130.13 and $126.01

CNBC4 days ago

From green energy to cybersecurity, Citi names ‘unstoppable trends’ that investors can jump on

Esports4 days ago

V-Union cards officially revealed for the Pokémon TCG, includes Mewtwo, Zacian, and Greninja

Blockchain4 days ago

State-Chartered Banks in Texas to Provide Crypto Custody

Trending